Josie Rika

aka Josie Hamilton Rika

Armed with a voice that was husky one minute and then sweet and soft the next, Josie Rika was only in her early 20s when she was billed around the North Island as New Zealand’s queen of soul.

Criminally under-recorded in her own right, Rika appeared on TV, released singles with Cruise Lane and Rainbow and adorned soundtracks and compilations, but a completed 1982 solo album was never released after the major label involved pulled out.

Josie Rika and drummer Larry Abbott at the the Sonny Day memorial concert in 2008. 
Photo credit: Dave Maybee collection
Josie Rika circa 1977.
Photo credit: Malcolm McCallum collection
Josie Rika
Sonny Day - Savin' Up (1985)
Innovations recording artists: Josie Rika, Richard Eriwata, Barry Wetini, Peter Morgan, Dave Noda, Erana Clark.
Cruise Lane with Lou Rawnsley, Josie Rika, and Dave Stewart - We All Have To Find Our Way Home (Family, 1973)
The Tuhi Tama Band, which played at Aladdin's nightclub under Auckland's Civic Theatre, 1979. From left: Armand Crown, Erana Clark, Tuhi Timoti, Chris Fox, Tama Renata, Josie Rika, Dave Noda.
Photo credit: Sarah Richards/Tuhi Timoti collection
Josie Rika performing with Tri Ellis in the early 1970s.
Photo credit: Julie Johnson collection
Josie Rika and Beaver, backstage, c. 1990. On the right are Nikki Walker, Paul Walker and Graham Brazier
Paul Lee and Josie Rika with Cruise Lane, circa 1972. 
Photo credit: Malcolm Curson
Josie Rika & Lee Connolly - Love Is Just Around The Corner (Mushroom, 1983)
Josie Rika sings 'One Tree Hill', on stage with Rick Bryant and The Jive Bombers at the Gluepot in June 1988.
Photo credit: Graham Hooper, Chrissie Small collection
Sleeping Dogs soundtrack, 1977, front cover. Music from Murray Grindlay, Mark Williams, Alan Galbraith, Josie Hamillton Rika, and Aerial Railway. Arrangements were by Murray Grindlay, Dave Calder of Hamilton County Bluegrass Band, and Matthew Brown. Recorded at EMI Studios, Lower Hutt, Produced by Alan Galbraith, engineered by Peter Hitchcock and David Ginnane, remixed and mastered by Peter Hitchcock.
DD Smash - Outlook for Thursday (1983) - listen out for Josie Rika on BVs
Josie Rika.
Assorted bands that trod the stage upstairs at The Gluepot, circa 1985. Amongst the faces are Hello Sailor, promoter Mike Corless, Beaver, Josie Rika, Hattie St. John, Hello Sailor's manager David Gapes, Rick Bryant, Trudi Green and Sam Ford of The Neighbours, Neil Edwards, Phyllis, booker Eddie Cook and Hammond Gamble.
Cruise Lane and backing choir in Cruise Lane, 1972. Left to right, Tony Pilcher, Kaye Wolfgramm, Claude Radics (front), Paul Lee, Josie Rika, Shirley Hunter with band mascot Oscar, Al Hunter, Peter Kershaw, Pauline.
Photo credit: Peter Kershaw collection
Josie Rika (centre) at a gig with friends Julie Johnson (left) and Joan Owen.
Photo credit: Julie Johnson collection
Josie Rika and Neil Edwards’ dog in a modelling shoot for Peaches Jeans in the 1970s.
Photo credit: Sandee Rika collection
The Blue Souls at a gig in 1969 with Josie Rika posing behind the drum kit. Others, left to right, are Trevor Judge, Robert Morse and Mo Dawson.
Photo credit: Trevor Judge collection
Rainbow circa 1976. Left to right: Grant Ryan, Josie Rika, Dennis Ryan, Neil Edwards.
Josie Rika & Lee Connolly - Taxi Lights (Mushroom, 1983)
In rehearsal for a Rick Bryant and The Jive Bombers gig in the late 1980s. Left to right: Josie Rika, Corina Berens, Chrissie Small and Denise Holl.
Photo credit: Chrissie Small collection
Josie Rika's headstone: "Queen of Soul"
Rainbow: Ricky Ball (in front), Paul Woolright, Josie Rika, Len Whittle (front) and Neil Edwards
Cruise Lane and backing choir in the band room at the Embers, 1972. Left to right, Paul Lee, Shirley Hunter, Claude Radics, Kaye Wolfgramm, Peter Kershaw, Tony Pilcher, Josie Rika (front), Al Hunter, Pauline.
Photo credit: Peter Kershaw collection
Josie Rika.
The Goodtime Band, summer 1984-85. Left to right, Sonny Day, Neil Edwards, Walter Bianco, Josie Rika, Mike Abbott, Beaver, Barry Saunders, Paul Hewson.
Photo credit: Jane West collection
Backstage pass: Rick Bryant, Beaver and Josie Rika, in the Gluepot band room, c. 1984. 
Josie Rika performing at Mt Maunganui in the early 1970s.
Photo credit: Julie Johnson collection
Josie Rika - River Song, with Coromandel band Tribrations, Taratara music festival, 1981.
Josie Rika and family friend Darren Johnson in the early 2000s.
Photo credit: Julie Johnson collection
Cruise Lane and backing choir on the Auckland waterfront, 1972. Left to right, Josie Rika, Peter Kershaw, Pauline, Claude Radics, Paul Lee, Tony Pilcher, Al Hunter, Shirley Hunter, Kaye Wolfgramm.
Photo credit: Al Hunter collection

The label on Rainbow’s 1974 Family Records single ‘Doctor Rock And Roll’ incorrectly credited the songwriter as Dion DiMucci from Dion And The Belmonts. Although DiMucci did release a song called ‘Doctor Rock And Roll’ in 1973, Rainbow’s recording was of a song of the same name written by Gary St Clair that was covered in 1974 by both The Righteous Brothers and Blue Swede.



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